Fight over $12M in assets
Rangiora High School board of trustees’ meetings 2014:
Allocated funds: Peggy’s utterly proper actions
It is now time for exact detail to demonstrate that the appointed commissioner and her boss, Hekia Parata, but mainly through Katrina Casey, have acted in a way that should see Hekia go, and Katrina in even worse trouble. Then, of course, there is Peter Hughes, hail fellow well met and, in a way he is, but undoubtedly a sly one, has also been caught out.
Since I last wrote to you, Peggy, in court, has defeated the ministry’s attempt to gag her. Looking good!
Tellingly, Hekia, Katrina are frantically denying any involvement in the scandal, once appointed it was all up to the commissioner, they say. This is a barefaced lie, both Hekia and Katrina were there every step of the way.
Perhaps, they have forgotten that a few months ago, when they were bursting with confidence, it is on the parliamentary record that they assumed full responsibility for the actions of commissioners and this one in particular.
In my first posting on the scandal, I declared it was about Hekia going after after the school’s assets, also that her job would be at risk in the failed attempt.
Not a jot has changed – now read some key detail. Not gripping but telling.
In 2014 the Rangiora High School board of trustees allocated funds from the Farmland Funds Interest Account to meet their financial commitment to the Commons Project as part of the $15M ILE Project. These moneys were tagged Allocated Spending in the 2015 budget.
With the sacking of the Rangiora High School board of trustees by the minister of education on 26 February 2015 a commissioner was appointed. The first thing the commissioner did, against the advice of the principal, was purchase two prefabs from Rangiruru Girls’ School in Christchurch for approximately $600,000. These prefabs had not been budgeted for and were paid for from funds already allocated by the Rangiora High School board of trustees in 2014 for the Commons Project.
If the cost of the prefabs the commissioner purchased is added to the cost of multiple investigations into the principal the commissioner commissioned, and as well if the cost of the commissioner’s annual salary as added to the 2015 annual budget, it is not surprising that 107 Kippenburger Avenue was the first of the school’s assets that had to be sold to cover this unallocated spending in the 2015 budget.
Basic school budgeting will tell you that you can’t spend your money twice; and when the funds allocated for the Commons was spent on the prefabs something had to be sold to cover the growing deficit.
Not by the way, isn’t the provision of school buildings a cost the ministry of education is responsible for under the Education Act 1989!
In your position Hekia and Katrina, in particular, my advice would always be don’t make allegations unless you are holding the evidence in your hand.
Below is the evidence Peggy is holding in her hand. What a cracker!
Here are the relevant extracts from Rangiora High School Board of Trustees Meetings held during 2014 that might assist commissioner to see the decisions this democratically-elected board of trustees made regarding the Commons project – a Common Area for y. 13 and other public groups. These minutes should all be on the school website if you want to double check the details.
While you are at it can you answer the four questions below?
- Is it true to claim the ministry of education has no interest in Rangiora High School’s $12M community assets? [High School Reserves].
- When the commissioner claimed the principal had ‘leaked’ documents to TV1 was she holding irrefutable proof in her hand?
- Why, when the Rangiora High School board of trustees had appointed four new Rangiora High School Education Trust Members did the commissioner claim there were not sufficient members to hold a lawful meeting in 2015 and so she didn’t?
- Why did the commissioner choose to ignore the Trust Deed and fail to convene a lawful meeting of trustees?
Oh naughty! naughty!
(The Trust was established in 2007 after the sale of 20 hectares of the 40 hectares of the school’s farm when it was zoned residential by the Waimakariri District Council. The Trust Deed was written to protect the school’s assets; and look after the interests of past, present and future pupils and staff of the school).
Thursday, 26 June 2014
Moved P Burrows / seconded W Newbury: That the Rangiora High School Board of Trustees will, through the use of Farmlands Farm Interest monies, make a contribution of no more than $200,000 to the fit-out of the new ‘Commons Area’ identified in the re-development plan project; the extent of the work to be determined once design commences. Carried.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Board members ratified a resolution approved via email communication on 28 May 2014:
Canterbury Community Trust
Moved P Burrows / seconded T Tripp: That the Rangiora High School Board of Trustees approve the application to the Canterbury Community Trust for $200,000 exclusive of GST for part-contribution towards the internal fit-out cost of the ‘Commons’ project at Rangiora High School. Carried.
Thursday, 25 September 2014
8.8 Commons Project
Discussion took place on Briefing Paper tabled on the Commons, including:
- The Board’s contribution of $200,000 considered insufficient.
- Consultation to take place with staff / Student MLE Group to ascertain priorities of how the Commons space could be used. P Burrows then to obtain estimates for ‘Wish List’; for consideration by Board.
- Considered to be an opportunity to consider connectivity of this space. Proposal received from the Guidance Department to consider relocating to the East Side of the building and to move the Student Services to the South Side.
- The importance of the Board receiving sound financial advice on projected earnings / commitments and the impact on other projects agreed.
- Moved Chair: That the Rangiora High School Board of Trustees delegate authority to the Principal to form a Sub-Committee [made up of P Burrows / L Newsome / M James], to seek the services of a Business Analyst to provide financial advice to progress the development of a Business Plan for the funding of the Commons area. Carried.
Thursday, 23 October 2014
‘MLE Project – ‘The Commons’: P Burrows updated Board members on historical Briefing Papers previously distributed; and following resolution agreed at August Board Meeting ongoing discussions with the Project Managers on fit-out of Commons Area; with the current budget being $375,000. Connectivity of building and purpose to be determined. The Student Voice Group currently consulting with students; working on Briefing Paper for presentation to the Board. Agreed that the Board’s role was to ensure infrastructure services.
- Moved P Burrows / seconded R Sparks: That the Rangiora High School Board of Trustees commits to spending up to $400,000 on The Commons area. Carried.
Rangiora High School Education Trust
Concern expressed that although guests had been invited, there were insufficient Trust members at recent meeting for a full quorum. It was:
Moved Chair: That the Rangiora High School Board of Trustees approve that T Blake, Q De Hamel, M Grover and J Bangma, be invited to serve as Advisory Trust Members to the Rangiora High School Education Trust. Carried.
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
12 Commons Project
- Briefing paper prepared by P Burrows tabled, along with copy of Report to the RHS Community dated 6 May 2014.
- P Burrows explained the school’s financial position.
- Following discussions on the Board funded ‘Commons’ project, it was:
Moved Chair: That the previous funding provision for the ‘Commons’ project be withdrawn. Carried.
Moved Chair: That the Rangiora High School Board of Trustees approve in principle the funding of the Commons fit-out up to $606,000, subject to due diligence being undertaken by M Rondell [Special Advisor].
For: D Turnbull, P Burrows, D Collier-Robinson, S Gulland, W Newbury, S Rattray, S Marsh
Against: L Newsome Carried.
You see, you foolish, dangerous threesome (Hekia, Katrina, Peter) – Peggy is a terrific principal with a great business, as well as professional education, head.